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IMMIGRATION

NEW POLICY FOR GREEN CARD HOLDERS IN TROUBLED MARRIAGES


Gail S. Seeram
By GAIL S. SEERAM, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW

During a marriage-based petition, if the petitioner and beneficiary were married for less than two years at the time of approval, then the beneficiary receives Conditional Permanent Resident status. The Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status will be granted for a two year period.

A Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) who obtained his or her status through marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must file Form 1-751 to remove the conditions on his or her residence before their two year status expires. When filing Form I-751, it can be filed jointly by petitioner and beneficiary spouse or a waiver can be filed if the petitioner and beneficiary spouse have terminated their marriage or the beneficiary is a battered spouse.

A waiver of the joint filing requirement cannot be filed based solely on the fact that a CPR may have entered the marriage in good faith, but he or she is legally separated from the petitioning spouse or is currently in divorce or annulment proceedings.

If a Service Center Immigration Service Officer (ISO) encounters a waiver request on the basis of termination of marriage, but the CPR is currently legally separated or in pending divorce or annulment proceedings, the ISO issues a Request for Evidence (RFE) with a response period of 87 days. In many cases, the divorce will take place during the response period to the RFE, which affords the CPR the opportunity to establish eligibility for the waiver by submitting a copy of his or her final divorce decree or annulment.

If the CPR establishes eligibility for the waiver, the ISO adjudicates the petition on the merits in accordance with established procedure. If the CPR does not respond to the RFE, or if the CPR's response does not establish eligibility for the waiver, the ISO denies the 1-751 and issues a Notice of Termination of Conditional Resident Status. The ISO then refers the case through the proper chain of command for issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA).

A request to waive the joint filing requirement must prove that removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship; the CPR entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was terminated; OR the CPR entered the marriage in good faith, but the petitioning spouse or parent battered the CPR spouse or child.

Gail S. Seeram, an immigration attorney, handles cases involving family petitions, business/investors visas, citizenship, deportation, asylum, work authorization and extension of status. Call her office toll- free at 1-877-GAIL-LAW (1-877-424-5529), send an email at gail@go2lawyer.com or visit www.go2lawyer.com



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